THAILAND The country will be the first Asean nation to implement the new ISO 20121 Event Sustainability Management Systems in a bit to elevate Thailand's business events industry to meet world standards.
Already adopted by 30 countries, the new standard for events provides a framework which event planners, venues and other members of the event supply chain can use to implement, maintain and improve sustainability within their way of working. TCEB (Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau) has linked up with SGS for the implementation of ISO 20121 in the country's business events sector.
"We are encouraging Thailand MICE operators to gain ISO 20121 certification and we are providing support with a raft of training and education programmes," said Nichapa Yoswee, director of MICE capabilities Department at TCEB. "We also help by supporting operators with a subsidy of 70 percent of the total fees for ISO 20121 accreditation, representing €75,000 (US$93,934) in 2012.
The standard (ISO 20121) takes a management systems approach requiring identification of key sustainability issues like venue selection, operating procedures, supply chain management, procurement, communications, transport, and others.
"Broad industry compliance with ISO 20121 would also bring significant financial rewards to Thailand's MICE sector and would showcase the strength of the country's potential to host word events," Yoswee said.
The country is bidding to host the World Expo in 2020 under the theme "Redefine Globalization: Balanced Life, Sustainable Living".
Thailand started its push towards sustainable events four years ago by launching its Green Meeting standard nationwide. More than 80 MICE companies have joined the programme. Furthermore, over 170 hotels in the country have been certified as "Green Accommodation".